Pericardial fat pads

Dr Vincent Tatco and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Pericardial fat pads are normal structures that lie in the cardiophrenic angle. They are adipose tissues surrounding the heart composed of the epicardial fat, which lies between the myocardium and visceral pericardium, and paracardial fat, which is adherent and external to the parietal pericardium. Unsurprisingly, they are more prominent in obese patients. 

They can be affected by fat necrosis, see: pericardial fat necrosis

  • mass or hazy opacity in the costodiaphragmatic angle
  • cardiac and diaphragmatic silhouettes usually visible
  • easily differentiates pericardial fat pad from pathology other than a lipoma

At times they are large enough to simulate pathology and can be mistaken for:

Anatomy: Thoracic
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Article information

rID: 38494
System: Chest, Cardiac
Section: Gamuts, Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pericardial fat pad
  • Pericardial fat pads

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: bilateral
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  • Case 2: at cardiac apex
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